|Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC, 2006) (2006)|
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|Like earlier games in the Elder Scrolls line, Oblivion is designed to present a living fantasy world that gamers experience on their own terms. The game is populated with over 1,000 NPCs, each leading a fully realized life, following regular schedules according to their individual wants, needs, and positions. Players are encouraged to interact in the world as they choose, as noble heroes, greedy villains, or anything in between. The game's main story is designed to conform to characters of any moral bent, and plenty of side-missions provide extra adventuring for all.|
|Game||Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion|
|ESRB Descriptor||Blood and Gore, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence|
|Control Elements||Keyboard, Mouse|
|Number of Players||1|
|Game Special Features|
|Game Series||The Elder Scrolls Series|
Average review score based on 112 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
This is my favorite game. Sometimes I just wander around in the woods of this game. It's that pretty, that entertaining. It's what's known as a "sandbox" game, meaning you are free to do as you wish, go where you wish. Oblivion is also an rpg, set in a distant past of low tech days. Your character is a regular person (m or f) who somehow earns the trust of the soon dead emperor, and is asked to take an amulet to the emperor's remaining son, secretly kept away from harm for just this possibility: you are to find him so he can keep the land of Tamriel from disintegrating into a bloody fiery mass of monsters and mayhem.
You start with nothing, find weapons and armor along the way, and from the time you get free of the prison in which you start the game, you are at your own pleasure. If you can see it, you can probably get to it. The land you explore in the game seems as big as texas, as varied in terrain, and dotted with interesting shrines, caves, huts, caverns and yes dungeons (no dragons as yet).
You can be good or bad, murderous, even, and so long as you don't get caught red-handed, you can get away with it. You can rescue the helpless or frisk and rob them blind. You can use swords, clubs, axes, bows, spears, magic, whatever. There are few limits to what you can do. Or how you look. Setting up your character can take an hour, easily, if you change everything you can, from eyebrows to cheekbones to hair length... And that's just your looks...
You can follow the main plot, finding the Emperor's son and closing shut the gates of (yep) Oblivion which are beginning to pop up everywhere, or you can ignore that plot (and the city in which it starts) and just explore. You can join various guilds, you have a plethora of quests that range from FedEx type (bring me x number of y things) to appointments (meet me behind the big church at 1 am to [fill in the sinister blank]. You can even buy and furnish houses in every city once you get enough cash together.
And once you "finish" the game (hard to do, since it's so open-ended), you can download any of a number of "mods" created by others. The game editor and supporting files come with the game, and material created by players is free. Bethesda has also created additional "episodes" which can be downloaded or bought at retail outlets for $20 or less.
Of course, there's a catch, a price to pay for the freedom. It's a hard game for computers. Even with a lower medium range gaming rig like my own (2ghz cpu, 2gig RAM, 7900GT card, winXT), Oblivion played poorly until I tweaked the settings (found an article how online). For older less powerful computers, there's even a version called "Oldblivion" which takes graphics demands down substantially while still leaving the game somewhat attractive and playable. This game is good enough, imho, to warrant upgrading your graphics card if you haven't in the past, say, 2 years. Even an older 6800GT or a pair of them (less than $100) will make a huge difference over integrated graphics. I'd suggest trying to find a 7x00 card (7800 gt, 7900 gs, 7900xt) if you have pci-e, two for sli, if you can. If you've got $500ish for graphics alone, then you can really make Oblivion look good. The rest of us tweak it a lot.
There are few games like Oblivion. It's a total immersion blast. Sure, it's got some flaws, but none that can't be corrected by a mod found online. All the Elder Scrolls games are excellent, and Oblivion is the best of them all. Enjoy.
* Huge, lavishly detailed world offers tremendous amount of action and adventure
* Main mechanics like combat, stealth, and magic are fun and well designed
* Impressive artificial intelligence and hundreds of believable characters
* Outstanding symphonic score, as well as excellent voice acting and sound effects
* Tremendous replay value, plus gorgeous graphics to make it easy on the eyes.
* Frequent though fairly brief loading times
* You might run into some technical issues with performance.
This is a rare and remarkable achievement--a huge, open-ended, complex, detailed role-playing game that's fun to play and a pleasure to behold. Oblivion not only delivers everything that earned the Elder Scrolls series the devoted loyalty of a huge following of fans, but also significantly improves on the weaknesses of its 2002 predecessor, Morrowind. Morrowind earned recognition for being one of the best role-playing games in years, but the immersive and long-lasting experience it provided wasn't for everyone. Oblivion is hands-down better, so much so that even those who'd normally have no interest in a role-playing game should find it hard to resist getting swept up in this big, beautiful, meticulously crafted world.
Morrowind was a tough act to follow, but Oblivion isn't just better--it's a lot better.
The Elder Scrolls series is known for its sheer size and depth. These are games that you could lose yourself in, spending hours exploring a fantasy world, traveling for miles, or just looking for minutiae, such as rare plants or hidden treasure. Oblivion lives up to this pedigree, putting you into a massive, cohesive, highly immersive world. You get to create your own character--the possibilities for customization seem limitless--and then explore the world as you will. There's a compelling main quest for you to follow, which takes about 40 hours to finish the first time through, but the majority of the game's content is peripheral to that main quest. You can root out evil in hidden dungeons, join and climb the ranks in a number of different guilds, visit all the different towns and try to solve everybody's problems, compete in a long series of gladiatorial battles to the death, break into someone's home and rob them in their sleep, get caught and face the consequences, contract a disease that leads to vampirism and then try to find a cure, buy a house, steal a horse, invest in your favorite shop, and, if you can believe it, there's much more.
So the breadth of content is as remarkable as ever, but the most important thing is this: The many types of gameplay in Oblivion are well-designed and deeply satisfying, even when taken on their own. That's the main difference between this game and Morrowind. This may be a role-playing game, but you could play it like a pure action game, or like a stealth game, or like an adventure game, and it'd still be at least as good as, if not better than, games that are specialized in these regards.
Oblivion does a great job of quickly introducing you to all these different aspects of play, successfully engaging you rather than overwhelming you. You see the world through your character's eyes, but a behind-the-back perspective is also available. Initially you just pick a name, race, and gender for your character, and the game opens with you stuck in a dungeon cell, being taunted by a fellow inmate.
Overall Rating: An 11/10
If you love RPG games this is for you! Unlike online RPGs' you will play this alone, but it is well worth it! You can micro-manage so many different aspects of the game it will offer well over 100 hours of game play, and if you do it without looking through a guide/walkthru then you will be spending well over 100+ hours to get a 100% finish.
The Prima guide is over 365 pages long and only gives text walkthru's for many quests!! The sheer amount of objectives is mind boogling!!
I have spent 20 hours and have yet to start the main story line! But I could have went and finished the main story line then went to the other quests. The open ended game play is just fantastic!
Oblivion offers the same factions as always, with quests, including the Fighters, Mages, Theives, Dark Brotherhood Guilds, etc. which alone offer countless hours and countless ways of completion.
Your system MUST HAVE A GOOD GRAPHICS CARD to take advantage of the incredible detail,(which bites if you have an older system). But by setting the visuals lower many older systems will still work.
My system is a Dell Inspiron 9300 laptop with a GeForce GO 6800 with just an 1.86 Pentium M and 512mb RAM with setting at high and it is really pushed after 3.5 to 4 hours of straight play. I do turn off everything I can running in the background and after a break of about 30 min. I am all set for another few hours. So as long as you have a really good graphics card you should be able to get away with having an older processor or less memory.
This is well worth the average price that it is being sold for and you will not be disapointed!
CONS: I only have one with the game as it is, which is the constant loading when your traveling by horse, (Did I mention that you finally get to own and ride your own horse finally!?), as you move from one area to another.
And I have one with the makers, which is the way they are offering expansions to the game. I am willing to pay $30 to $50 for a quality expansion pack, which would have a large number of quests and a new storyline, but they are wanting you to pay $2 for a single quest or single object to download. At this rate the BloodMoon expansion for Morrowind would have cost over $300!!
So while I recommend this to anyone who loves RPG games I only wonder if the expansion is going to be affordable!
If you remember Ultima Underworld I and II (early 90's), this game is like a new version of that style of game play. Very similar to games like World of Warcraft except that its a single player game, and first person view.
Like in Ultima Underworld, you actually control the swing of your sword (ax, mace, etc). Instead of clicking on an opponent to attack, you click to swing, or click and hold to swing hard. You can move around while fighting to dodge your opponent, or simply run away and hope your faster than he/she/it is.
Early in the game you choose what attributes are most important to you, and those simply start with more skill than the others. You are not held to a "class" in any way. The more you practice something the better you are at it. For example the acrobat skill allows you to jump higher and drop further without getting hurt. If you simply jump the whole time you are running places, your acrobat skill will increase rapidly. I needed my summoning skill to be at a level 25 in order to use a spell that congers an imp to fight for me, so while I was waiting a "day" for someone to analyze a book for me, I sat at the arena betting on combatants (making money), and all the while casting a lower level summoning spells to increase my skill. After between 30 min to an hour(real world time) of this I got my skill up to where I needed it.
You speak to people, and have options of what to say back, or ask. You can fight anyone you choose, you can steal, pick pocket, buy & sell, explore, embark on alternate quests. Something thats very nice about the open quests in this game is, you can choose a quest you want to work on, and it provides enough direction (such as a history of notes, makers on your map, and a marker on your compass), that you never get lost and aimlessly wonder wondering what in the world your supposed to do.
This has quickly become one of my favorite games. I rarely put more than a couple hours a week into my games, but this game has consumed 20 hours of my time in just the last week!
The graphics are much, much better than Morrowind. Sound is just as good as Morrowind and the main theme is a tribute to the Morrowind main theme. There are a lot of voices in this game and it is possible to not have to read any of the conversions and just listen to the NPCs. You can thankfully skip over lines that you don't want to hear if you are a fast reader. Just like Morrowind you can also add new songs to the music folder if you want to use a custom soundtrack. Control is improved. Blocking is so much better that even if you aren't a warrior you can hold your own in melee against the common enemies. The new magic casting does take some getting used to and so does the unified menus. Controls do feel more like a console game and Oblivion's battles are a lot more action based than Morrowind's. As for gameplay, most of the changes are for the better. Enemies level up now so leveling up the wrong skills may get you into trouble at the higher levels but so far it hasn't bothered me. Trading is different and I'm not sure it's improved that much. Lockpicking gives you the option to do a minigame but you can also do it the Morrowind way. Speechcraft is thankfully much more improved. Stealing is also more elaborate. Steal from a store and hang around and the guards will come looking for you even if nobody actually saw you stealing. The missions are now more elaborate and even the most trivial ones may surprise you with some funny, emotional and even sensual topics. Travel is different with no more stilt riders, boats or guild guides. Now you have a horse option and a fast travel option to places you've been to before or major sites you haven't been to yet. All you're old Morrowind tricks like repairing bound armor, shooting arrows while levitating, beating people to a pulp with your bare hands and gaining magicka by fighting your own creatures is still possible. If you liked Morrowind you'll most likely like this one as well. Players who were put off by Morrowind's low level combat should try Oblivion. Players who traditionally don' like deep RPGs should give it a chance. Like hack and slash games? Create a stereotypical warrior and join the fighterâ€™s guild. Like stealth games? Create a stereotypical thief and join the thiefâ€™s guild. You may just like it enough to try out new things.